NIU fans find new love in volleyball


Family and friends of the NIU volleyball team received more than they bargained for Tuesday night when they were witness to not one but two of the most dramatic comebacks ever encountered by an NIU volleyball team.

While trailing by scores of 13-7 in the first game and 11-4 in the fourth and final game NIU staged two unbelievable come from behind victories to send a jubilant crowd in excess of 1200 to their feet cheering in the excitement of the extraordinary feat they had observed.

“I never knew girl’s volleyball was so exciting,” said Mike Bouchard, a freshman at NIU. “When they came back in the first game I was amazed but when I saw them come from behind in the fourth (game) to win the match I was going crazy.”

With more fans in attendance for the ISU meet than any other match of the year, the volleyball squad showed everyone that there’s a certain concreteness to claims of being the best team NIU has seen in over a decade when they failed to fall flat in the most anticipated match of the year.

“This was the first volleyball game I attended and it definitely won’t be the last. I was utterly amazed by the athletic domination and skill the team possesses,” said Chris Englert, an NIU freshman.

With the onslaught of kills, digs, and energy the team displayed, any chance of a shortage of fans in the final home stand of the year to be held on November 11 and 12 should be eliminated. When this year’s students have their last chance to see two more exciting victories, they will also have the last chance to see five seniors whose illustrious careers will culminate as they face Valparaiso and the University of Illinois-Chicago.

“Last Tuesday’s excitement was great but to see the final game of five outstanding NIU players will be the one match I don’t want to miss,” said Andy Blake, an NIU freshman.

With only these two games remaining on the schedule, the team can expect to see the crowd back in full force in just over a week.

Although it took a major portion of the season to receive the fan attendance and participation they had hoped for since game one, the players and coaches received the support of their fans on a day that couldn’t have been more deserving.

For head coach Pete Waite, an ex-ISU assistant coach, the victory tasted doubly sweet as he not only knocked off an ISU team with whom he has professional relations but was also entered in the NIU record book as he earned a tie for first place as NIU’s most victorious coach with 139.